Successfully Forcing Spring Branches
Success! Spring branches have been forced! Here is an update on the branches taken from my yard back on Feb. 23rd, brought into the greenhouse and re-cut, stripped of the lower bark, and put into warm water. The greenhouse was unheated when the branches were brought in, however now it is fully heated because planting season has arrived! Hoo-ray!
The first branch to pop out was the pussy willow. These branches are so reliable, and the large fuzzy buds with a pink cast are incredible. Pussy willow branches are also easy to dry, just by keeping them out of water. The second branch to pop was the forsythia. Tiny (super small) green buds gave way to large yellow flowers seemingly overnight. The forsythia is beautiful all on its own, as a focal/architectural look in a vase, or combined with other fresh flowers. The Snowdrift crabapple branch now has tiny bright green leaves, but no flowers yet. I’m going to wait and see if those buds turn to blooms. Finally, the Star Magnolia has just lost its outer shell and blooms seem to be a day or so away. I have not seen large results from the Saucer Magnolia, but I will not give up hope! The force is with me! And if I can do it, you can too. Bring some of those outdoor branches in, prune a bit, add some water and see what happens. The kids will enjoy watching the emergence of Spring!